Social Protection Schemes Most Effective Way to Combat Poverty
Por Tom Stevenson, El Confidencial
By UN Official New York
February 17, 2011
social protection is the most effective way to combat poverty in
developing countries, a United Nations official said today, adding that
poorer nations are coming up with innovative ways to ensure that their
citizens have basic social security.
protection is one of the most powerful tools that any society has to
combat poverty and to invest in its own social economic development,”
said Michael Cichon, the Director of the UN International Labour
Organization’s (ILO) Social Security Department.
we need in developing country context is 4 per cent
[gross domestic product] to reduce the poverty rate in a country by about
14 per cent,” Mr. Cichon told a news conference at UN Headquarters to
launch a document entitled “Successful Social Protection Floor
Experiences,” which is jointly compiled by ILO and the UN Development
said that social protection schemes have succeeded in reducing poverty and
providing income security in developed countries over the years.
Developing countries are following suit with programmes such as cash
transfer arrangements and universal health care, he said.
real innovation these days comes from the global South,” said Mr. Cichon,
noting that in the next 10 to 15 years an estimated 1.2 billion people in
developing countries will have a means of social protection, including
food security, health services for all and old-age pensions.
ILO is preparing a meeting in June with Governments, employers and workers
from all 183 of the agency’s member States to draw up a long-term social
a meeting in
last September, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia and International
Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn agreed to
explore the concept of a “social protection floor” for people living
in poverty and those in vulnerable situations within the context of a
medium to long-term strategy.
the world spends 17 percent on social protection, but that is 19 per cent
in developed world and only 4 to 4.5 per cent in developing countries.
the current global economic crisis, developed countries are looking to cut
deficits and public expenditure, consolidate budgets and finance fiscal
stimulus packages by cutting back on social expenditure.
it means in the end, and I think we should all understand that, is that
the old, the disabled, the sick and the poor are going to pay for the
crisis for the next few years,” Mr. Cichon warned on Monday. “And
it’s a pretty straightforward message and a pretty perturbing
“Successful Social Protection Floor Experiences” is a compilation of
successful case studies from developing countries intended to be part of a
broader knowledge-sharing process, according to Francisco Simplicio of
UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.
“The experiences documented here advocate for a careful analysis of the
capacities, needs and existing [social protection] schemes in place that
will enable and inform policy-making processes and the gradual building up
of social services,” said Mr. Simplicio.
Copyright © Global Action on Aging